Dancing on the Canon: Embodiments of Value in Popular Dance by S. Dodds

By S. Dodds

Utilising a cultural thought process, this book explores the connection among well known dance and price. It strains the transferring worth structures that underpin renowned dance scholarship and considers how varied dancing groups articulate complicated expressions of judgment, importance and price via their embodied perform.

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Extra info for Dancing on the Canon: Embodiments of Value in Popular Dance

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Accordingly, this chapter both traces the intellectual values of cultural studies and presents an exposition of the value of cultural studies for popular dance research. The social and institutional context The foundation of cultural studies is located in post-war Britain and its intellectual preoccupations emerge from these specific conditions. The late 1940s marked a period of capitalist prosperity and by the 1950s differences between the working and middle classes were diminishing as workers became more affluent and had increasing access to the cheap commodity goods made available through mass production techniques (During, 1993; Green, 1996).

First, high art is also part of the free market economy and can be equally subject to mass production techniques or popular commercialization. Second, in place of a singular, dominant belief system, a range of hierarchies is at play and, although high art still holds a specialist position, mass culture also participates in the formation of our cultural values. Third, the high/low cultural divide traditionally suggests a class correlation, which is outmoded given that mass audiences are characterized by inclusion rather than exclusivity.

In this regard the humanist legacy of the arts and humanities is evident in the constitution of cultural studies scholars as politically engaged subjects, so it is not surprising that social, political and intellectual values are inextricably linked. 6 At this stage, I conclude that cultural studies has legitimized the study of popular forms and conceives the popular as a framework of power politics. First, this informs my argument in Chapter 3 that ‘the popular’ is more appropriately understood as an approach through which to examine a range of dance practices that exist under particular conditions, than as comprising a discrete set of movement forms.

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